Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

May 26, 2018

America Memorial Day

Filed under: Art Market, Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:25 pm

America

America, (Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra), 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Here in the United States we are celebrating Memorial Day over this long three day weekend, a wonderful event for many reasons. As a kid it meant that we were going to be out of school shortly and the summer vacation was about to go into full swing. Also meant that the winter weather was gone, flowers were blooming, and it was going to get hot along with the evening swarm of mosquito, the nastiest of little flying biting insects.

As a child I had learned that this weekend was also about honoring those who served in the military, but as my dad and all of his brothers had survived WWII, understanding the underlying sacrifice was really lost on me then. Later when the Vietnam war was upon me and high school friends had gone to serve and then some did not come back, I really came to understood the full impact of what military service was about.

I have also come to celebrate this weekend in a much broader sense; a weekend to remember all of those who served as well as those others who have now passed through this life and a growing appreciation of all those still living among us.

Thus I felt very honored when my gallery used the above photograph, America, from my Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra project, as a memorial day weekend celebration announcement. In the context of Memorial Day I think that this photograph is a contemporary urban man-built landscape that metaphorically reflects on the current issues facing America. As our national anthem states That our Flag was still there, this photography visually signifies to me that we will get through this current political mess as individuals attempt to create barriers, impediments and divisions. That there is still hope for our country.

Cheers,

Doug

Photographic prints; 40 x 50″ (42 x 52″), 30 x 40″ (32 x 42″) , 22 x 28″ (24 x 30″), 16 x 20″ (17x 22″) available from Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles.

 

May 2, 2018

Pre-press for Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra today

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Pre-press, light table, Dual Graphics 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Things are moving at a crazy speed and seems like I am juggling chain saws.

This morning I was at Dual Graphics, the SoCal book printer that I am working with for the printing, trimming and folding of my artist book Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra. We are at the hard-proof step as part of the pre-press process and now the interior pages and covers have been on press for a short run and my evaluation.

It was apparent immediately to me that the blacks needed to be punched; too much details revealed in the shadows, thus losing some of the moodiness that I want these photographs to have. I brought with me a set of match-prints off my Epson printer and left these with the pre-press manager to provide more guidance. He did not see any issues with adjusting the printing plates and laying the ink to provide a close match.

He then headed out with these match prints to start this printing job. My book printing will not actually be run until later tonight and into the weekend, but I did not see any reason to be on-press with the printer. I spent enough time this morning with both the pre-press guy who does the shop floor color management and the printing  production manager. They get it.

We folded one of the hard proofs to verify the width of the book’s spine was appropriate and the cover appears to need no further changes; looking good!

Now I am back in the studio binding the three hard proofs, which will become Trial Proofs (T/P), in as the color is not spot on and being adjusted for the press run. Nevertheless, these T/Ps can be used as display copies at the Fabrik Projects gallery for the exhibition opening this Saturday to continue taking book orders. Btw, did I mention that my artist book is now available for pre-order??

Okay, now back into the studio to glue and bind some leporello books.

Cheers!

January 22, 2018

Black & White Challenge; day four and weird beach creatures

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:54 pm

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Beach Study, Crystal Cove State Park, December* 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

While working on my next beach study for my black & white challenge, I started to see something interesting in the abstract shapes. Somewhat like finding faces or animals in the cloud formations. When I did a 180 degree inversion of the image, I realized I had found a very weird beach creature, or potentially two, perhaps with one riding the other, lurking in the sand. It will be interesting to find out if others see what I see in the comments, especially since I am not to provide any explanation with my Facebook post.

I love this aspect of serendipity when I experiment and play with my images! I don’t think that I will start looking for more of these, but I will sure will be more open to looking at what I find on the sand. Could make walking the beach all that more fun, as if walking on the ocean beach was not already a ton of fun.

Also a note for fellow photographers; one aspect that might have made this composition easier to work with is that the day was foggy and overcast, thus an indirect flat light without strong shadows to contend with.

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale & Twitter: @Doug_Stockdale, and of course, Instagram @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This black & white print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com for details.

Cheers!

January 16, 2018

Walking were it might be “Hazardous”

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Signage, Arroyo Trabuco trail, January* 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

While walking the Arroyo Trabuco trail I have noticed a number of really deteriorated signs with a wire mesh that appeared to have covered the missing signage. All of these were in really bad condition, thus I could only speculate what was there. This seemed to provide some visual opportunities to leverage these ambiguous situations to my own advantage.

Yesterday I noted one such sign lurking in the shadows of a couple of large bushes. After investigating I found that this posted sign was in the best condition of any of these, but still a very major challenge reading the extremely faded text. This is the first sign I have found where the wire mesh to protect the signage appears still in tact. I had hoped that my close-up and conversion to black & white in Photoshop might tease out the text a little better. Nope. Since this was photographed with my mobile phone, I will try again with the Canon 5DMk3 and when it’s fixed, I do plan to re-shoot this composition with the Hasselblad & color film.

In retrospect, my previous post of the UXO signage was perhaps a little too photo-documentary and did not garner much interest as a singular image. This photo may still work in the context of a book, so still in consideration.

Nevertheless, the resulting image is still great, I love that it has some slight hints as to the text while remaining very ambiguous, perhaps even a bit abstract. This potential image is diffidently on my list for Gardening for Ordnance project. I also think it is a great candidate for the 120mm Makro with the Hasselblad, so more about how that turns out for another day.

Btw, from what I could read: Keep Out Hazardous Area. Found adjacent to the Plano Trabuco Practice Bombing range (active: WWII and Korean War).

Please join me on Instagram: @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil.

Cheers!

January 14, 2018

Morning walk – Path to Somewhere

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:17 pm

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Tijeras Creek trail December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Realizing that I am…

1.) continuing to take morning walks and…

2.) I bring a camera to document some aspect of this experience, I…

3.) realize I have a formal photographic project in process and (finally)..

4.) have given it a working title: Path to Somewhere.

Thus I have opened a digital file on my network to start collecting these images that I think might be considered for a future photobook. One thing that I will do shortly is to tag the earlier posts with this same category name for the side bar.

I am still waiting on the repair of the Hasselblad body as I expect to convert this project to using color film. The fact that I am currently using digital capture in and of itself does not preclude me from considering these images for a future publication. Its all good!

btw, I am posting an earlier image since today is going to be a rest and recover day, yesterday walking out of the arroyo I felt the leg burn and realized that I needed a day of recovery. So today I will do a light work-out with some weights in conjunction with some back yoga.

Creatively I am working in the studio on the book dummy for Middle Ground. More about that progress shortly ;- )

Cheers!

January 2, 2018

Morning walks – staying off the grid

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:52 pm

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Tijeras Creek Trail, December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Earlier I had discussed how my morning walks have taken a bit of detour off into the “wild” as a trade-in for the neighborhood sidewalks and my usual route for the past many years. After a number of experiment/play photographs documenting my walks with the cell phone camera, I thought it was time to bring some other camera equipment to further explore this photographic project. In preparation for the next phase of investigation, I instead encountered the Hasselblad jamnation.

When faced with lemons, my motto is to make lemonade; so while my 500 C/M body is being fixed, I opted to take my walks with the 5DMk3 with the 50mm EF f/1.4 canon prime lens and not even bring along the 24-105mm zoom. The 50mm “normal” lens would be the equivalent focal length for my 80mm lens with the Hasselblad. I wanted to contemplate that when restricted to just this “normal” prime lens focal length, might this work in my visual investigation and are consistent with my earlier cell phone experience.

After my return to the studio and downloading the digital files, the next step was to crop the image square, similar to the Hasselblad 6x6cm format. Still teetering between color and black & white images, and maybe even incorporate both into this project. Meanwhile, still using Photoshop for the digital black & white conversion. For film, I am thinking of using color negative versus color positive and after scanning the negatives, converting with Photoshop to black & white as an option to evaluate.

Cheers,

Doug

December 24, 2017

Happy Holidays & a Great New Year!

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:02 pm

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Christmas card, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Wishing everyone the very best for the holidays and a great New Year! Although we celebrate Christmas, we want to extend warm wishes to you for however you celebrate this time of year.

My discussion about the development of our annual Christmas card can be found here.

I also signed a few of the Christmas cards I sent out as a subtle inference that this 2004 winter photograph was created by me. I have not done this in the past, but thinking I might do this for the future, perhaps as a limited edition card with the edition number on the back.

Cheers!

December 22, 2017

Morning walks – off the grid

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 5:27 pm

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Morning Walk, Tijeras Creek, Orange County 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

This past week I decided to change-up my morning walk. Instead of traversing the local neighborhood sidewalks I ventured into the  adjacent park and dirt paths.  I realized this was an opportunity to exercise my experiment/play practice in conjunction with my Samsung S5; so I documented where I was going in conjunction with what else I noticed along the way.

Befitting my experiment/play practice I am enjoying the visual results of going off-road. I am now consider moving into another camera format and probably start carrying the Hasselblad along with a tripod to continue this exploration. This change will increase the load a little more as this also includes carrying the spot meter, so I may need to rethink my walking gear. With film, always the decision of what to use; black & white or color and if color, negative or positive? Some decisions to make before starting the next phase.

Since I do try to take an extended walk each morning I foresee the possibilities of this becoming over time a full blown photobook project. I can work on this while first finishing my Middle Ground project I hope to publish in Spring of 2018. Since I can be so easily distracted, I need to continually remind myself of my priorities.

Cheers!

December 15, 2017

Beach Walk – Newport Beach

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:02 am

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Seaweed, Newport Beach, December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Last weekend I had a chance to leisurely walk the beach in a California State Park located just outside of Newport Beach, CA. This was a little confirmation that I still find myself drawn to creating black & white photographic images.

Although resembling a study with a view camera, most of this image and subsequent processing was completed with my Samsung S5 and SnapSeed. Today I did a little more contrast tweaking in Photoshop to tease out a bit more of the flow lines in the sand created by the receding surf. I was intrigued by the found-art design of the way the seaweed was naturally positioned by the surf. Serendipity that I took advantage of with my framing of the composition and subsequently working with the black and white conversion.

As a lark, I also added the “film” border to provide more of that Edward Weston view camera look. Very modern! (hopefully hints at being contemporary, but I doubt it)

Cheers!

December 4, 2017

MoPLA theme: Political Satire

Filed under: Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:03 am

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Middle Ground, San Diego, June, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I have been giving some thought to a MoPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles) submission for my Middle Ground project. Which I need to sort out quickly as the deadline is December 5th. Yikes!

One submission category is Host Space Exhibitions and for that submission it requires: “a thematic body of work for exhibition consideration in one of our host spaces”.  Which bumps into an aspect of my Middle Ground project that I had not really considered before; what is is this thematic body of work?

Middle Ground investigates attempts by somebody in our government to construct something that leads to social alienation for America, a barrier situated between two countries, but I am not sure that “social alienation” is a theme but rather the subject of my project. Some classic themes are: the nude, urban landscape, portraiture, nature, culture, history, countries, abstract patterns, poetic, etc. Interestingly politics is a theme does arise on a few theme lists.

Thus thinking that Middle Ground‘s theme is political satire. So I will try to get some quick feedback on Facebook (and here if you would like to comment) in the next day or so to see if this might fly.

Second part of this submission is the openness of MoPLA curators to political satire? That I may not know for sure, but I am ready to try and find out.

Cheers!

 

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